For my final fashion history paper back in college I proposed that with the rising trend of tech in fashion we’d see an aggressive turn towards more nostalgic pre-industrial styles in coming years. It would seem that the time has come as a general spirit of revivalism has taken the runway by storm. The corset and the sleeve, in all its extravagant forms, have been making an impact for a while but this year saw a great deal more specificity. Some might even say that referential design has been replaced by historical reproduction. Designers are no longer taking bits and pieces but whole silhouettes for a seeming mashup of old and new. If you can’t afford a piece from Palomo Spain or Ellery, head to your local vintage shop for a late 60’s Romeo & Juliet style dress. Go the extra mile with a sewing pattern from Ageless Patterns. If you can’t sew, support your local tailors for a one of a kind experience. Trust me, it’s worth it.
As Millennial designers begin to get their bearings in the industry and expand their vendor relations, we’ve been seeing a lot of experimentation with more advanced techniques come into play. While pleats might seem like a simple direction it can be a real production challenge for a budding brand to master. As pleats enter back into the public fashion sphere larger brands have begun to take notice but we’ve yet to see these ideas translated into the street-ready looks we know are coming. Grab a pair of pleated pants with a flare for a power business look, pair with vintage Manolo’s and a string of your grandmother’s pearls for maximum effect. Grab a grecian number, mix with some gold platforms á la Aquazzura and a cream jacket for a solid day to night adventure look.
From the French Revolution to Edwardian tea dresses, 1980’s power suits to modern day luxe interpretations of causal femininity, ruffles have stood the test of time. Embrace your inner meadow goddess and don’t be afraid to get a little clown action going. Ruffles never fail to elevate your look and they are having a serious moment so take advantage while you can.
Sea shells are no longer the sole property of hyper-colorful 90’s babies with mermaid fetishes. Shells have officially bridged the gap to a more sophisticated customer base. I have a feeling the reason we’re seeing so many shells make the leap has everything to do with their widespread use in flat lays along side other contemporary symbols of effortless cool like the pomegranate and the grapefruit. Whatever the reason is, I’m on board. Give me golden sea shells and abalone all day, I’ll pair them with a silk slip dress and a kimono, and you probably should too.
Gold’s been in for a minute but in recent months there’s been a move away from dainty stackables to more bold organic styles. Jewelry artists like self-taught Joanne Burke are doing some of the most innovative line items in this category but you can turn to more conventionally appreciated brands like Ellery to find something a little more refined. Either way you’ll want to save up for one of these pieces because they might be defining this period of fashion but the materials and styling are classic staples in their own right. At once modern while referencing unattainable bronze age beauties, these pieces can age with your wardrobe and will stand the test of time.
Say farewell to the itty bitty babydolls of the 1970’s/90’s/2016’s, may we meet again in a few seasons. While some brands like Daisy continue to give us the familiar super short versions of this Italian Renaissance inspired style, more recent additions seem to be going tea length or longer. Personally, I’d love nothing more than to spend my days in these oversized chemise-like wonders. Dress them up with boots and a coat for the winter or style them with pointy-toed Balenciaga kitten heels and chunky gold jewelry this coming spring. Nightgowns all day? I’m in.
Baroque pearls started to pop their way into the fashion consciousness a couple years ago when relatively unknown jewelry designers like Becca Hulbert began integrating them into her quirky napoleonic revival pieces. These days they’re cropping up all over the place but some are doing the organic beauties better justice than others. Here are some great examples of designs that showcase the singular beauty of the baroque pearl and lend some styling inspiration for those of you looking to accessorize your next editorial shoot.
Not your mama’s fanny pack. Brands like Jacquemus and other lesser known lines like Wunderkind Official and Gabriele Colangelo are leading the pack where it comes to where you pack your essentials. Pleats, stitching details, and (arguably excessive) layering makes these looks feel fresh and modern even in their opulence. For those of us who enjoy being hands free without relying exclusively on pockets- you can thank these innovators for bringing back a classic in a cool minimal way.
Romantic sleeves aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. These days the bold thick fabrics of last year are moving in a more ethereal direction. Trade in those jacquards for some lightweight silk organza or sheer silk/cotton voile for something a little sexier but also magic hour in a meadow approved.